Australia News & Commentary State

Israel Folau asks for help: ‘I can’t do it alone’

Israel Folau has asked his supporters for help in his fight against Rugby Australia. So far, Folau has spent more than $100,000 in legal fees after Rugby Australia terminated his contract for citing a Bible verse on his personal Instagram account.

The former rugby star yesterday set up a Go Fund Me page in hopes of raising $3-million to continue his legal action against Rugby Australia. In a video posted to social media, Folau said the overwhelming support he’s received made him realise he’s not just fighting for his future and his family, but he’s fighting for what is right.

“As Australians, we’re born with the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression,” Folau explained. “The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty, as a Christian, to share God’s word.

“Rugby Australia tore up my employment contract for doing just that, and that’s wrong. Every Australian should be able to practice their religion without fear of discrimination in the workplace.”

Folau went on to say, since his sacking, he and his wife have had to pay a significant amount in legal fees.

“Rugby Australia has an army of lawyers at their disposal,” he said, “and they have already said they will divert significant resources to fight me in court.”

Folau is committed to continuing the fight for freedom of religion and expression but admits he cannot do it alone. Since the Go Fund Me campaign was launched yesterday, Folau’s supporters have since raised close to $200,000. If you wish to support Folau’s fight, you can donate here.

Folau has said the money raised is solely to fund the rest of his legal action in court.

In his first interview since his contract was terminated by Rugby Australia, Folau told Alan Jones there was absolutely nothing in his contract that said he could not share his faith on social media.

Folau said: “After the first initial incident happened last year, I had a meeting with, obviously, Raelene and we spoke about the potential effect it can have within the game. She said I was still able to share my religious beliefs, but just do it in a more respectful way.”

You can listen to the full interview below:

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